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St. Louis Rams: Head Coach Jeff Fisher Monday Press Conference Transcript

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Here's what Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher had to say at his post-game press conference today.

(Opening Statement)
"Late night last night. We got things corrected, looked at and so we’re rolling on to our next opponent. I can give you an update on (LB) Alec (Ogletree). He’s really the only one that had any issues - the only issue we had in the ball game. It looks as if we’re going to have a surgical procedure in the morning. Once the procedure is done, I’ll have a better idea as to whether or not we will elect to use our IR designation. I’ll keep you informed as far as that goes tomorrow afternoon. He’s got a fracture. He’s got some things we’ve got to look at. He’s doing fine. He’s optimistic. We’ll move on. It’s that next guy up routine. Someone has to step up. (LB) Akeem (Ayers) came in the game, (LB Daren) Bates came in the game and played a little bit. Played well, made some plays. We settled Akeem down, so Akeem will step up for him. Glad we got Akeem to handle that role. We’ll just adjust accordingly defensively. From an overall game standpoint – three phases – it was impressive. It wasn’t easy. We made it hard on ourselves. We’ve got a lot of improvement to work through. There were some issues that we had to overcome in the game. Field position issues, a couple of penalties we had to overcome. I think the thing that’s most impressive is when we came in the locker room at halftime we had nine carries for nine yards. We ended up with 26 (carries) for 164, so we had a really productive second half and that was really the difference in the ball game. We’re on to Green Bay."

(On if Ayers can play the weak side linebacker)
"Yes. Akeem goes in, in base. He’s one of the three linebackers in base, so he just moves over. It’s not a problem. And (S) Mark (Barron), we’re getting a lot of production out of Mark in the sub-packages. We’ll continue to do those things. We may entertain the possibility of using Mark on some earlier downs."

(On if he’s optimistic about Ogletree)
"Yeah. This is a medical decision here, so we’ll just see how it goes. As I’ve said, you have to look long and hard to find a linebacker playing better than he did the first four weeks. We’ll miss him, but we’ll move on."

(On if the options for Ogletree are IR or designation to return)
"Those are the two options. One of the two."

(On what Ogletree’s injury is)
"He’s got a fractured ankle right now. We just have to look at the integrity of the entire ankle. I’ll give you more specifics after the surgery."

(On how Ogletree’s spirits are)
"He’s disappointed. He was here in the meetings. He was in the locker room after the game. He was here in the meetings today. He’s going to have to put his coaching hat on now here for whatever time."

(On how Ayers has made the transition with his playing time being cut lately)
"It’s the personnel groupings that we’re facing. I’m not saying that offenses dictate who we put on the field, but when you’re seeing a lot of three wide receiver groupings as opposed to the traditional two tight end, fullback offense, then we sub. So, when we sub, we put an extra DB on the field and Akeem comes off. Akeem can play the position. He came in and he did a nice job for us."

(On how LB Daren Bates has gotten more accustomed to playing on defense)
"He went in the first play and he was in there and made the tackle. He did fine. We have confidence in him. He knows what to do. He’s been in this defense. He has a good feel for it. If he has to play on defense, then we expect that he’ll be fine."

(On if RB Todd Gurley is ahead of where he thought he would be in terms of workload and production)
"I told you last week that he was really close and he was and this week he proved it. We’re just going to stay with the same thing. I’d like to get (RB) Tre (Mason) more playing time, but that’s an offensive issue. That’s a production issue - a team issue. When you’re not converting third downs or you’re having difficulty on first down and our opponents are getting a lot more snaps than we are, it’s hard to get the reps. We need more offensive reps. Fortunately, we got it in the second half and it showed what we can do. I’d like to get Tre more snaps and we’ll continue with Todd. It’s the way we’ve been doing it."

(On if there is a limit to the number of carries Gurley will get this week)
"No, if we can hand the ball off in the fourth quarter, we’ve got a chance to win the game. That’s what we’re trying to work towards."

(On if he made a lot of adjustments at halftime in the running game or things just clicked)
"We did. We were playing a very good defense. There’s going to be some tackles for losses here and there because of their penetration. But, we made a couple of minor adjustments and they had respect for (WR) Tavon (Austin) and where Tavon was and that just kind of opened some things, created some creases for us."

(On what experiencing success in a big game can do for the young offensive line)
"Well, there was Todd’s first run. His first big run, the one that broke out, it became a problem and I had to address it with the team because they acted like it was a touchdown. Everybody ran on the field and celebrated and we couldn’t get the personnel group and substitutes in. We had a delay of game. It was a boost, but it was also a good lesson to be learned from the standpoint of expect big plays. Let’s get on the ball and finish the drive. They were just all excited. Todd’s big first run. We were trying to get players in the game and trying to get things communicated to Nick and we ended up running out of time."

(On WR Stedman Bailey’s celebration)
"We’ll address it. Probably should’ve been penalized, which would’ve hurt us. I say we will address it, but I’ve already addressed it."

(On if he wasn’t amused by the celebration)
"No. He used the ball as a prop. It’s a foul. It’s a 15 yard penalty and you’re kicking off from the 15-yard line and that’s not part of what we do."

(On if the celebration could be a fine)
"Potentially, yeah. That’s up to the league."

(On the secondary being very competitive yesterday)
"We got our hands on some balls. I thought we tackled well. (CB Janoris Jenkins) Jenk’s interception was very, very impressive. Like I said after the game, two consecutive weeks now, he’s made two very, very difficult plays. When you get your hands on balls, you have to catch them. You can say (CB Trumaine) Tru (Johnson) made a great break and a great play, but you’d like to see him catch that ball. That’s kind of…we have those expectations. We expect him to do that. But I thought from a run support standpoint, (S) TJ (McDonald) was TJ. He put some pretty good licks on some people yesterday, which he’s good at. I thought (S) Rodney (McLeod) played pretty well with the caused fumble. So, I thought their…we played good enough. Still we had too many explosive plays. Too many big plays down the field. So, you can give their offense credit for it, but that’s not what our defense is about is giving up those plays."

(On having bunch formations on all three touchdowns and how those can help from a smaller receivers standpoint)
"It has a tendency to help when you have a…you’re playing a defense that features man-to-man coverage. It has a tendency to sort things out for the quarterback and create some opportunities."

(On QB Nick Foles’ willingness to stand in the pocket and deliver)
"Well, again we talked about it today. He got hit too many times. We have to get better there. I don’t like to see our quarterback on the ground. But when he hung in there, he bought himself time. He trusted a clean pocket and got the ball down the field."

(On if this has been the hardest hitting game he’s had on defense)
"No. That’s just how we play. So, it wasn’t unusual or out of the ordinary. It’s just how we play."

(On what made his team so good in the red zone coverage)
"Well, we handled the run game. I think once we got the DPI (Defensive Pass Interference)…(CB) Janoris (Jenkins) got the DPI and that first-and-goal at the one. We lined up and hit them for a couple losses, and then they kick a field goal. That’s a big win for your defense. So, we handled the run game down there. Then we affected the quarterback’s feet with the pressure and made the ball come out. We were in position for the most part."

(On trading WR Chris Givens to the Baltimore Ravens)
"Well, it was a good deal. Obviously, we had a couple trading partners there. We finished it, we completed it Friday, let Chris know Saturday. It was just a great opportunity. I visited with Chris. I was really proud of Chris considering where he was when he got here and the player he became – the pro that he became. With (WR) Brian (Quick) coming back and them having the need, it just worked out for us. So, that’s a first class organization. He got a chance to talk to Coach (John) Harbaugh and (Ravens GM) Ozzie (Newsome), so he was excited about the opportunity. Chris traditionally for us has been that over the top guy, and we felt like Tavon has the same skill set to do that as you saw yesterday."

(On if a shorter rotation can help the wide receiver core)
"Yeah, we expect more production out of them. It’s like…the entire team is not getting an ‘A’ grade from the game. The receivers need to play better. Everybody needs to play better. But the players that we have at the positions right now are consistent. We just need to play better."

(On if he would’ve like to work WR Brian Quick into the game more)
"We just didn’t have enough offensive snaps."

(On getting RB Trey Watts back this week)
"Yes, Trey will be back in the building. As a matter of fact, he was back in the building today."

(On what he saw on the play when RB Benny Cunningham was called for forward progress)
"Well, I’m just glad they called forward progress."

(On if he got a break on that play call)
"May have been, yeah. My perspective on it is we have a ball security issue and we can’t put the ball on the ground. We put it on the ground a couple times. Regardless of what the outcome was, the ball was on the ground. The other side of that is we had the ball on the ground defensively a couple times and we didn’t get it. So, we need to protect the football."

(On penalties that have wiped out some good returns on special teams)
"One I agree with. One I didn’t."

(On the penalties he disagreed with yesterday)
"Yes. You can see when (RB) Benny (Cunningham) started early, we didn’t have Benny do the kickoff returns. But you can see the kind of return ability that he has and the body work that the return team is doing. We just have to correct a couple things. But the one I didn’t necessarily agree with, the one on (S) Cody (Davis). (TE Corey) ‘Hark’ (Harkey) was busting his butt and he turned the guy so I could see what they saw. But the positive thing from that standpoint is we’re getting returns. Guys are blocking. They’re setting it up. We’re using really good angles and playing smart. We just have to avoid it."

(On P Johnny Hekker’s punts limiting CB Patrick Peterson)
"It was Hekk. It was a plan. Hekk hit every ball really good. We got great gunner work outside. We kind of felt that if we could affect his feet, make him go sideways, that we would make the plays. So, he’s one of the better punt returners out there and I thought our cover guys did a great job."

(On Hekker’s performance)
"Yeah, I’d rather not have him out there like the Cardinals, because they punted once. Then he punts six or seven times and then have to come back after the game and say, ‘Hey, your punter punted really well, but we had to punt six or seven or eight times.’ So, we need to play better on offense."

(On the confidence he has in K Greg Zuerlein)
"Well, I trust him. Our goal going into the game was to have him kick anywhere from five to six extra points. We didn’t get there. So, but he made the ones he kicked."

(On if there is a chance that either RB Chase Reynolds or DE Eugene Sims return this week)
"Yes. One or the other or both."

(On if it’s a good chance Reynolds or Sims will return)
"A chance."

(On if he’s seeing growth out of the offensive line week-to-week)
"Yes. I thought the offensive line did a nice job. (C Tim) ‘Timmy’ (Barnes) had his hands full and he was redirecting and doing everything from a communication standpoint. They couldn’t hear. That’s one thing we really didn’t have…we had one issue there. We had a delay and we had one issue up front. So, I thought Tim handled things from inside out and I thought the guys…they put forth a winning effort.  I know they’re excited about the second half and what we did on the ground."